Monday, May 10, 2010

A Day at Work

The sun is shining beautifully this Monday morning, as I awoke to a crisp 35 degree F temperature here in North Carolina.  A gorgeous spring day awaits us here; one I am looking forward to soaking up at work this afternoon, as I know the hot, humid air will be rolling in very soon.

I spent Sunday at the shop (a local gift, garden and design shop) and was very surprised to see there were no men rushing in to pick up that last minute Mother's Day gift ~~ instead, mostly, I saw moms and daughters out browsing at their leisure.  Our men are obviously getting smarter, and planning ahead, while allowing the women of their lives to enjoy Mother's Day as they wish ~~ browsing the best of local shops!

To share a peek into my work life, this is the front of the shop where you can find me four-to-five days/week, depending on the season.
At the owner's request a couple of years ago, I painted the awning in a faux tiger/zebra-ish print.  Needless to say, its bright yellow background draws alot of attention, and I suppose that was the point.  (This is the largest creative painting project I have taken on, and admittedly, it's size was a bit intimidating, as I could not see "the big picture" from below while up on the scaffolding, with paint and brush in hand.)
However, the bright awning does not out-shine the beautiful landscape and its contents that draw many in to browse in awe of all there is to see.   I only wish I was capable of capturing it all in pictures that would do it justice.

I love this vintage rusted iron planter, and this vintage copper-top planting bench, with the sagging upper shelf!

If I had to choose one planter as my favorite, it would most likely be this vintage rusted iron oval planter.  It is missing a "leg" on its back side (not shown here), and perhaps that makes me love it even more.  I propped it up with a rock and it's as good as least, to me!

The location of this fountain, (behind an iron, curtained awning) does not do it justice, nor does this picture, but I had to share it nonetheless.  It is one of my favorite fountains at the shop.  This picture reminds me that this fountain needs to be moved to a more visible location, but it weighs a TON, and thus will most likely stay here...until the boss comes in one day, as she is famous for doing, with a big smile on her face and says, "I have a plan!  Let's move this [huge, heavy item] over there [usually "miles" away, with many obstacles in between the two locations, lol!]".  We (the staff) love to joke with her about these instances, and I love it when my co-worker turns to me and jokingly says, on these occasions, "is she smoking crack today," meaning "has she LOST her MIND???"  Then, we all pitch in to get the job done ~~ somehow, preferably without any injuries, lol!

These pretty little fellas are my only hesitation to taking a day off.  I am the self-appointed "Dead-Heading Queen," at the shop, and know these fellas will miss my obsessive five-plus-times-daily-dead-heading process when I am away.  I love petunias, when properly groomed, but cannot bare to see them with dead blooms lingering.  Admittedly, I go a bit overboard with them, but tell myself, "if I were purchasing plants, what would I want them to look like?"  When planting any petunias, I always hope they will find a good home...soon...where someone else can care for them..or not, lol!

This Big Fella originally had a terra cotta sun face . . . that broke and fell to pieces last year, and thus has received a "face lift" consisting of the insertion of this round piece of wood.  Now he sits propped up against an iron divider piece, looking pitiful, in my humble opinion.  This piece has been calling me, saying, "please paint a new face on me, so I can shine again!"  I'm thinking this will be my next art project at work, ;).  This is part of the fun and excitement I find in working here, as there is always something that needs a creative touch, and the owner is a wonderful, creative lady with a "happy-go-lucky" personality, whom is glad to see any of the staff use their creativity on her "junk," as we like to refer to it.  (She is a Junkin' Gypsy Queen, whom loves to go "Junkin'," and we love to see what she returns with!  When she and her husband return with a trailer full of "junk" from the latest trip, I like to think of it as Christmas morning, as the trailer is unpacked and we get to see what she found on the latest trip.  Many times there are treasures found, all on their own, and other times there are "treasures in the making," begging for some creativity.)  Not to mention, the creative inspiration that abounds within the surroundings of the shop is a huge bonus within my "work"-life today.  I suppose my previous 20+ years of working in office settings also give me a loving perspective of this work setting, that I often think of as more of a "play" setting ~~ I get to play with so many wonderful things here.  I totally enjoy my work-life today.  Having worked in not-so-inspiring-unhappy-settings for many previous years, my heart goes out to anyone working in an uninspiring, or unhappy setting.  While I truly appreciate the salary obtainable in the "white-color world" (words used to express my vision of those working in much more financially prosperous positions than myself today), today I am much happier with less income and lots more peace, happiness and inspiration.  It's a good trade-off, for me.  
So, if you are ever in Piedmont, North Carolina, and/or should need a peaceful, inspiring break from life and can get away, please stop by and visit me and "The RT Gang" at River Twist in Jamestown, North Carolina.  Not only do I find peace here, I also hear many clients and visitors express sentiments of feeling peaceful, relaxed and/or inspired when they visit the shop; many stop in just because they need a break from their hectic life, and feel rejuvenated after a visit here.  (You can find us on Facebook, by searching for "River Twist," if you would like to see more of the shop.)

May we all find a way to discover happiness, peace, rejuvenation and inspiration in whatever setting we find ourselves within today.  Wishing everyone a beautiful week, filled with fun, happy, peaceful and inspiring moments.


  1. If I had a job outside of my home.... this is where I would want to be. Like a little piece of heaven, and go put a Suzi face on that sun :)

  2. Thank you for your loyalty in commenting, Diane, ;)! I love to receive comments, and love to see you on my blog . . . and I love reading your blog and seeing your awesome art and inspiration!

    Yes, the shop a little piece of heaven on earth, no doubt, and I realize my good fortune in being here today. I'm asked, almost daily by visitors, "is this your shop" (they see my graying hair and love of the surroundings, I suppose, and presume that I must be the owner, lol!) and I honestly answer, "no, I simply have the pleasure of working here." Not to say that I don't miss the money of a better paying position (which would provide for more art supplies!), but the surroundings are absolutely perfect for me, an artsy soul.

    I'll try to do another post, at a later date, of the inside of the shop, where there are some awesome pieces for interior design purposes, as well as jewelry, gifts, etc. Ever heard of Sid Dickens??? ( We carry his entire current collection, as well as many retired pieces, that are AWESOME, and a MUST SEE, if you haven't experienced them before. Likewise, we carry @ 90% of Mark Roberts' line that also are best sellers (

    If you're ever in NC, PLEASE stop by to say "hello!"